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Date: 02-04-2020

Case Style:

United States of America v. Marvin Leroy Smith-Capers, Jr.

Case Number: 5:18-cr-00426-MGL

Judge: Mary Geiger Lewis

Court: United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (Orangeburg County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Winston David Holliday, Jr.

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Columbia, SC - The United States of America charged Marvin Leroy Smith-Capers with arson.

Marvin Leroy Smith-Capers, Jr., 37, of Newark, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in federal court to arson. United States District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis presided over the hearing and will sentence Smith-Capers at a later date.

According to facts presented to the court, on January 8, 2018, just after midnight, Smith-Capers set fire to Joy’s Touch of Class in downtown Holly Hill after spending much of the previous two hours stealing merchandise from the store. The flames spread to two adjacent businesses, Goldstein’s and the Super 10, causing damage to all three in excess of $1 million.

Holly Hill police officers first noticed suspicious activity when the white GMC Yukon driven by Smith-Capers recklessly pulled into the road opposite their direction of travel. They followed the Yukon, which then accelerated down Railroad Street, ultimately losing control. At the accident scene, officers discovered the overturned Yukon, an ejected and unresponsive Smith-Capers, and merchandise scattered about. This merchandise was traced back to Joy’s.

Smith-Capers was also linked to the scene of the fire through the ankle monitor he was wearing as part of a previous probationary sentence. GPS data tracked Smith-Capers as he moved back and forth between the store and his vehicle as he loaded the Yukon with stolen merchandise.

Smith-Capers faces a minimum term of five years in federal prison, and a maximum of 20 years. He is also subject to a maximum $250,000 fine, and he will be responsible for restitution to the store owners.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as the Holly Hill Police and Fire Departments, the Orangeburg County Fire District, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigated the case.


18:844(i) did damage and destroy by fire a building and other real and personal property used in interstate and foreign commerce and in activity affecting interstate and foreign commerce with forfeiture allegations

Outcome: 01/28/2020 47 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis: Change of Plea Hearing as to Marvin Leroy Smith Jr-Capers held on 1/28/2020 Straight Plea Accepted. Marvin Leroy Smith Jr-Capers (1) Guilty Count 1. Defendant remains in custody. Court Reporter Carleen Horenkamp. CJA Time 2:00-2:40. (mdea ) (Entered: 01/28/2020)
01/28/2020 48 GUILTY PLEA ENTERED as to Marvin Leroy Smith Jr-Capers (mdea ) (Entered: 01/28/2020)
01/28/2020 50 NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF HEARING: Jury Selection set for 2/5/2020 09:30 AM as to Marvin Leroy Smith Jr-Capers (mdea ) (Entered: 01/28/2020)

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